Speaking about menstruation is considered taboo in many places in India. We all need to first begin by normalizing the concept of menstruation in the people of India. This would be possible only by imparting the system of sex education in our education system (which would lead to a decline in rape culture). Young girls are forced to drop out of school once their menstruation cycles begin. The lack of knowledge about periods leads to a social and mental stigma among the unprivileged girls.
A study titled ‘Menstrual hygiene management among adolescent girls in India’ said that out of 100000 girls, 50000 do not know about the period until they get their first period. The orthodox culture prevalent in certain areas isolate the girls with periods harming their mental health. They are prevented from entering temples, kitchens and religious events because a menstruating girl is considered impure and untouchable. They are ashamed or frightened to talk about their periods which is a big obstruction in the path of their growth and the growth of the nation. There are over 355 million menstruators and girls in India, 28 million of them across the country still face significant barriers to comfortable and dignified experience with menstrual health.
Not only does the lack of knowledge lead to social stigma but also is a source of ill health and disease in thousands of girls all over the nation. Due to the inability to afford proper sanitary requirements, women in many parts of the country have to use scrap cloth again and again. only 36 % of women use sanitary napkins in India. They are unaware of the germs, infections and diseases caused by it in their bodies.
Movies and web series are now increasingly focusing on the issue regarding periods. For instance, the movie ‘ Padman was one such effort. Education about periods must become mandatory in all schools for young girls and their mothers. In fact, men have to be as aware as women and support them during their period cycles. The government has to boost the distribution of low-quality, high-quality sanitary napkins among all girls, especially in low-income groups. This can be done by launching campaigns frequently and allocating resources to healthcare and sanitation. They can tie up with companies such as Whisper ultra-clean and Stayfree to ensure the availability of pads.
Together, we all can fight the taboo of periods by spreading knowledge and resources!